THE NIGHTIE and chemise of Queen Victoria has failed to sell at an auction.

The two items went up for sale yesterday at Hansons Auctioneers’ Fine Art Auction.

Despite offers of more than £7,000 failed to meet the auctioneers reserve. 

The 141-year-old garments, which have been authenticated by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, were given to a maid who served the royal family in the 1800s.

The seller Hilary Aston, 79, a retired former language school owner from Oxford, said that the garments were given to her by her aunty and uncle before they died.

She explained: "This nightdress was given to me by my uncle and aunt before they died. My uncle was Hubert Noel Charles [1893–1982] who designed the first MG motorcar. The nightdress belonged to his parents, his father being a well-known London solicitor, Thomas Charles.

“The Charles family employed several staff, one being a maid who had previously worked for the Royal Household of Queen Victoria. When she left her employment, she was given the nightwear as a gift. Apparently, staff who either retired or left were given a gift of something belonging to the Queen.

“In 2009, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London authenticated both items as Queen Victoria’s garments. They told me that the chemise in particular was very rare.”

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons, said: “It’s noted in Queen Victoria’s journal that there was a method regarding the distribution of her discarded clothes. Such a process would have been carried out discreetly through personal staff.

“The nightdress carries the Queen’s cypher embroidered in white and, stitched onto the garment, is a numbering system. The chemise has an emblem relating to Queen Victoria under the arm. Items like this would have been worn in rotation. The nightie is voluminous in size and features lace around the shoulders and neck.

“Though Queen Victoria was only 4ft 11ins and petite when she became queen at 18, her waist expanded to 50 inches over the decades – a fact underlined by the ample size of these floaty garments.”